Alumni

Mira Balberg

Balberg, Mira (Religious Studies)
Mira Balberg is Associate professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University, who specializes in ancient Judaism. Her areas of teaching include Hebrew Bible, Second Temple literature, Hellenistic Judaism, and Rabbinics.  She is the author of Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (University of California Press, 2014) and Blood for Thought: The Reinvention of Sacrifice.in Early Rabbinic Literature (University of California Press, 2017).

Elissa Bemporad (History)
Elissa Bemporad is the Jerry and William Ungar Associate Professor of East European Jewish History and the Holocaust at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk (Indiana University Press, 2013), winner of the National Jewish Book Award and of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History. The Russian edition was recently published with ROSSPEN, in the History of Stalinism Series. She is currently finishing a book entitled Legacy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms, and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets, which will be published with Oxford University Press. Elissa is the co-editor of Women and Genocide: Survivors and Perpetrators (forthcoming with Indiana University Press in 2018), a collection of studies on the multifaceted roles played by women in different genocidal contexts during the twentieth century. She has recently been a recipient of an NEH Fellowship and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Elissa's projects in progress include research for a biography of Ester Frumkin, the most prominent Jewish female political activist and public figure in late Imperial Russia and in the early Soviet Union.

Mara Benjamin

Benjamin, Mara (Religious Studies)
In the fall of 2017, Mara will become the Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Mt. Holyoke College.  Her second book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (forthcoming from Indiana University Press) investigates the religious dimensions of caring for young children in the context of Jewish thought and tradition.

Sarah BenorBenor, Sarah B. (Linguistics)
Sarah Bunin Benor is Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles) and Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California Linguistics Department. She is the author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism(Rutgers University Press, 2012), as well as many articles about Jewish languages, Yiddish, and American Jews. Dr. Benor is founding co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Languages and creator of the Jewish Language Research Website and the Jewish English Lexicon.

Bernstein, Shana (History)
Shana Bernstein is Clinical Associate Professor of Legal Studies at Northwestern University, where she also teaches classes in American Studies and History. She is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and is the author of Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Oxford University Press, 2011). Bernstein is currently working on a project that examines the environmental health activism of multiracial working class, immigrant neighborhoods in early twentieth century Chicago and has an article forthcoming in the Journal of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.

Braiterman, Zachary J. (Religious Studies)
Associate Professor of Religion, Religion Department, Syracuse University, NY

Bruch, Mia (History)
Research Fellow, Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

Campos, Michelle (History)
Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Department of History, University of Florida

Julia P. CohenCohen, Julia P. (History)
Julia Phillips Cohen is Associate Professor in the Program in Jewish Studies and Department of History at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era (Oxford University Press, 2014) and, with Sarah Abrevaya Stein, co-author and editor of Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700-1950 (Stanford University Press, 2014). Her book, Becoming Ottomans, was recently translated into Turkish as Osmanlılaşmak: Modern Çağda Sefarad Yahudileri ve İmparatorluk Yurttaşlığı (Istanbul: Alfa Yayınları, 2017).

Dina Danon

Danon, Dina (History)
Assistant Professor in Judaic Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Professor Danon's primary research interests are the Sephardi communities of the eastern Mediterranean and the history of the Ottoman Empire. Her doctoral dissertation, "The Transformation of the Jewish Community of Izmir, 1847-1918" draws on a large body of previously unexplored Ladino archival material and was a recipient of the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Foundation for Jewish Culture in 2011. Danon's teaching interests span the full range of Jewish history, with a particular focus on the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities of the Mediterranean world. Her publications include "Abraham Danon, la vie d'un maskil ottoman, 1857-1925," in Itinéraires Sépharades, ed. Esther Benbassa, (Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2010), a translation of the 1847 Ladino "Shaavat Aniim" in The Sephardic Studies Reader (forthcoming, Stanford University Press), and several entries in the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (forthcoming, Brill).

Glaser, Amelia (Comparative Literature)
Associate Professor, Department of Literature; Director, Jewish Studies Program; Director, Russian and Soviet Studies Program, University of California in San Diego. She is the author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands: From the Shtetl Fair to the Petersburg Bookshop (Northwestern U. Press, 2012), the translator of Proletpen: America’s Rebel Yiddish Poets (U. Wisconsin Press, 2005), and the editor of Stories of Khmelnytsky: Competing Literary Legacies of the 1648 Ukrainian Cossack Uprising. She is currently collaborating with Prof. Steven Lee (Ph.D Stanford in Modern Thought and Literature) on an edited volume, Comintern Aesthetics. She is also at work on a study of Yiddish poets and leftist internationalism in the 1930s.

Dan HellerHeller, Daniel (History)
Dan Heller is an assistant professor in the Department of Jewish Studies, McGill University. His first book, Jabotinsky's Children: Polish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism, appeared with Princeton University Press in August 2017. In the spring of 2016, Dan received the Noel H. Fieldhouse Award Distinguished Teaching Prize, awarded annually to one member of McGill's Faculty of Arts. 

Kaplan, Gregory (Religious Studies)
Assistant Professor and Anna Smith Fine Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University

Renana Keydar (Comparative Literature) 
Renana Keydar is a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva Center for Human Rights in the Hebrew University's Faculty of Law. She is affiliated with the interdisciplinary program "Human Rights Under Pressure: Ethics, Law and Politics" under the joint auspices of the Hebrew University Jerusalem and the Free University Berlin. Her current research project explores the ethics of the plurality of storytelling in transitional justice mechanisms. 
Renana received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Stanford University (2015). Her dissertation is an interdisciplinary examination of the changes in notions of post-atrocity justice from 1945 to 9/11 through the joint prism of law and culture. Prior to her graduate studies, she earned an LLB (magna cum laude) and a BA (political science, magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University and served as a legal advocate in the Israeli Ministry of Justice, High Court of Justice Department. Next year, Renana will be a fellow of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Koltun-Fromm, Kenneth (Religious Studies)
Is a member of the religion department at Haverford College. He teaches a wide range of courses in modern Jewish thought and culture, together with material studies in religion. His research focuses on Jewish conceptions of identity, authority, authenticity, and materiality. Kennith has published four books–Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity (2001),  Abraham Geiger’s Liberal Judaism: Personal Meaning and Religious Authority (2006), Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America (2010), and Imagining Jewish Authenticity: Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought (2015)–and one edited volume, Thinking Jewish Culture in America (2014). He is currently co-editing two projects–one on conceptions of the Jewish God and the other on Sacred Texts and Graphic Novels.

Naomi Koltun-FrommKoltun-Fromm, Naomi (Religious Studies)
Naomi Koltun-Fromm is presently professor of Religion at Haverford College, where she teaches courses in Hebrew Bible, comparative Biblical exegesis and the history of Jerusalem. Her book, Hermeneutics of Holiness was published by Oxford in 2010. Prof. Koltun-Fromm's current research focuses on the religious and symbolic meanings and historical manifestations of Jerusalem as holy city. She lives in Haverford, PA with her husband and three children.

Emily KopleyKopley, Emily (English)
Emily Kopley is the inaugural Researcher in Residence at Concordia University Library. In this position she is researching twentieth-century anonymous literature, the topic of her second book project. She has recently published essays in Review of English Studies, English Literature in Transition, Mémoires du Livre, and the Times Literary Supplement. She is also completing her first book, stemming from her Stanford dissertation, Virginia Woolf and Poetry, and she continues to research the messiah in Jewish fiction. She lives in Montreal, where she serves on the board of the Foundation for Yiddish Culture and on the committee of the J. I. Segal Awards, offered by the Jewish Public Library.

Koss, Andrew (History)
Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Colgate University, NY

Cecile KuznitzKuznitz, Cecile (History)
In January 2017 Cecile was invited to present two lectures in Japan at the workshop "Yiddishism and the Creation of the Yiddish Nation;” her talks have been published in English and Japanese translation.  Cecile recently published two articles on Jewish architecture and urban history, the suject of her ongoing research, and has has articles forthcoming in Paris and Leipzig on the history of YIVO. Her book YIVO and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture: Scholarship for the Yiddish Nation (Cambridge University Press, 2014) will apear in paperback this fall. 

Akiba LernerLerner, Akiba (Religious Studies)
Akiba Lerner is an Associate Professor of Religion and Theology at Santa Clara University where he teaches courses on Jewish thought, prophetic politics, and film. He has published on Jewish thought and is currently completing a manuscript on redemptive hope.

Emily J. LevinLevine, Emily (History)
Emily J. Levine (Ph.D. History and the Humanities, 2008) was promoted to Associate Professor of Modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016. Her first book, Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School (University of Chicago Press, 2013) was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize by the American Historical Association for the best book in European history from 1815 through the 20th century. The book was also a finalist for the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Cultural and Media Studies awarded by the Association for Jewish Studies. Her article, “Baltimore Teaches, Göttingen Learns: Cooperation, Competition, and the Research University,” based on research conducted while she was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in Berlin, was published in June 2016 in the American Historical Review.

David LevinskyLevinsky, David (Religious Studies)
After five years as the Associate Rabbi at Chicago Sinai Congregation, David Levinsky is the Saidye Rosner Bronfman Rabbinic Chair at Temple Har Shalom in Park City, Utah. He is working on a book about Jewish messianism. David received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies in 2009.

Mandsager, John (Religious Studies)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Jewish Studies, University of South Carolina

Michels, Tony (History)
Tony Michels is the George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin.   He co-edits the journal Jewish Social Studies with Kenneth Moss and Sarah Abrevaya Stein and is co-editor, with Mitchell Hart, of the forthcoming Cambridge History of Modern Judaism: The Modern Era (Cambridge Univ. Press).
His first book, A Fire in Their Hearts:  Yiddish Socialists in New York (Harvard Univ. Press), won the Salo Baron Prize from the American Academy for Jewish Research.  

Moss, Kenneth (History)
Director of the Jewish Studies Program, Associate Professor, Felix Posen Chair in Modern Jewish History, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University, MD

Naar, Devin (History)photo of alum
Devin E. Naar is the Marsha and Jay Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies, assistant professor of History, and chair of the new Sephardic Studies Program at the University of Washington. He teaches courses in Jewish history; Holocaust history and memory; and Jews, Christians and Muslims in Eastern Mediterranean in modern times. Naar completed his PhD in history at Stanford University where his dissertation, “Jewish Salonica and the Making of the ‘Jerusalem of the Balkans,’ 1890-1943,” recievied the department’s award for “best written dissertation.” A former Fulbright scholar to Greece, Naar is currently a fellow in the Society of Scholars at the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities, and also sits on the academic advisory councils of the Center for Jewish History and the American Sephardi Federation in New York. See Devin's Jewish Studies faculty page here.

Olson, Jess (History)
Associate Professor of Jewish History, Associate Director of Center for Israel Studies, Yeshiva University, NY

Peskin, Josh (Religious Studies)
Josh Peskin, Ph.D., utilizes a background in Strategic Communications and Modern Jewish Thought in his role overseeing fundraising and communications activity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. As RRC/JRC enters a new era for academic and Jewish organizations, the strategic advancement staff focuses on engaging our community and laying the foundation for a financially healthy and vibrant Reconstructionist future. 
Peskin is a member of the president’s cabinet and works closely with college and movement leadership around a wide range of issues that impact students, faculty, staff and Reconstructionist congregations internationally. Prior to joining RRC/JRC, Peskin was a Senior Strategist at Identity Advisors, providing strategic counsel to a diverse range of clients, including foundations, higher education institutions, religion in public life advocacy organizations and others. Peskin holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Religious Studies and completed a dissertation on the work of Emmanuel Levinas.

Pines, Noam (Comparative Literature)
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, State University of New York in Buffalo

Redfield, James (Religious Studies)
Assistant Professor of Biblical and Talmudic Literatures, St. Louis University

Robinson, Shira (History)
Shira Robinson, who earned her Ph.D. in History in 2005, taught at the University of Iowa for two years and held a one year fellowship at Princeton's Davis Center for Historical Studies before moving to the George Washington University, where she is now Associate Professor of History and International Affairs. Her first book, Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State, will appear with Stanford University Press in October 2013.

Rokem, Na'ama (Comparative Literature)
Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization Department, The University of Chicago, IL

Simone SchweberSchweber, Simone (Education)
Simone Schweber graduated from Stanford with a PhD in Jewish Education in 1999. She was very lucky to be offered a position teaching the Holocaust course at Stanford for one year because Aron Rodrigue was on sabbatical. She now serves as the Goodman Professor of Education and Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Tony Michels, who also graduated from Stanford, is her good colleague and friend. She is author of the books Making Sense of the Holocaust: Lessons from Classroom Practice (published by Teachers College Press), and with Debbie Findling, Teaching the Holocaust (a textbook for teachers in Jewish schools). In addition, she has written numerous articles published in Teachers College Record, Jewish Social Studies, American Journal of Education, and the Journal of Jewish Education--all of which deal in some way with teaching and learning about genocide in various schooling contexts. 

Alyssa SepinwallSepinwall, Alyssa (History)
Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall is Professor of History at California State University – San Marcos and past winner of the university’s Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award.  After receiving her PhD in History and Jewish Studies from Stanford in 1998, she was Lucius N. Littauer Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.  She is the author of The Abbé Grégoire and the Making of Modern Universalism, Haitian History: New Perspectives, and many articles on French-Jewish history, French revolutionary history, French colonial history, and Haitian history.  Her most recent publications in French-Jewish history “Reimagining Jewish-Muslim Relations on Screen:  French-Jewish Filmmakers and the Middle East Conflict,” in Zvi Jonathan Kaplan and Nadia Malinovich, eds., The Jews of Modern France: Images and Identities (2016) and “New Directions is in French Holocaust Film: The Origin of Violence, Once in a Lifetime, and Victor Young Perez,” Fiction and Film for French Historians: A Cultural Bulletin (2017)

Marci ShoreShore, Marci (History)
Marci Shore is associate professor of history at Yale University. She is the translator of Michał Głowiński's The Black Seasons and the author of Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation's Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968 and The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe. Her book about the 2013-2014 revolution in Ukraine, The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution, is forthcoming with Yale University Press; she is also at work on a longer book project titled Phenomenological Encounters: Scenes from Central Europe. Her recent essays include “Surreal Love in Prague” (TLS); “Out of the Desert: A Heidegger for Poland” (TLS); “Rescuing the Yiddish Ukraine (New York Review of Books); “Rachelka’s Tablecloth: Poles and Jews, Intimacy and Fragility ‘on the Periphery of the Holocaust,’” (Tr@nsit Online); “Can We See Ideas?  On Evocation, Experience, and Empathy” (Modern European Intellectual History); “Entscheidung am Majdan: Eine Phänomenologie der Ukrainischen Revolution” (Lettre International); and “Reading Tony Judt in Wartime Ukraine” (The New Yorker); and “The Bard of Eastern Ukraine, Where Things are Falling Apart.” (The New Yorker).

Silverman, Noam (Education)
Noam Silverman is Head of High School at The Heschel School in New York City

Spiegel, Nina (History)
Nina S. Spiegel is the Rabbi Joshua Stampfer Assistant Professor of Israel Studies at Portland State University. Her first book, Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine (Wayne State University Press) was published in 2013 and recognized as a finalist for both the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and a National Jewish Book Award. 

Sarah Abrevaya SteinStein, Sarah Abrevaya (History)
Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Professor of History and Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies at UCLA.  A Guggenheim Fellow, her award-winning books include Extraterritorial Dreams:  European Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Saharan Jews and the Fate of French Algeria (University of Chicago Press, 2014), Sephardi Lives:  a documentary history, 1700-1950 (Stanford University Press, 2014), and Plumes:  Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce  (Yale University Press, 2008). 

Max StrassfeldStrassfeld, Max (Religious Studies)
Max Strassfeld is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Classics at the University of Arizona. He is currently on research leave revising his book manuscript, Transing the Talmud. 

Sufrin, Claire (Religious Studies)
Claire Sufrin is Associate Professor of Instruction in Jewish Studies and Associate Director of Jewish Studies in the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University. After earning her PhD from Stanford (2008), Claire held a Schusterman Postdoctoral Fellowship in Jewish Studies at Northeastern University in Boston before moving to the Chicago area in 2010. Her current research focuses on religion and literature.

Sussman, Sarah (History)
Curator of French and Italian Collections, Green Library, Stanford University

Tennen, Deborah (French and Italian)

Weiss, Gillian (History)
Associate Professor, Department of History, Case Western Reserve, University, OH

Zakai, Sivan A. Kroll-Zeldin (Education)
Sivan Zakai is the newly appointed Sara S. Lee Chair in Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at the Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. She is also an affiliated scholar at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, where she directs the Children's Learning About Israel Project, a longitudinal study of American Jewish children's relationships to Israel.